Susan Pazak, Ph.D.

Relationship & Couples Counseling
Laguna Niguel California 92677

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About Dr. Susan Pazak

While healing individually is stressed as the primary focus in recovery or at any stage in life, learning to navigate a marriage or relationship in couples therapy and marriage therapy with a significant other can be challenging. In marriage counseling often new rules, roles, limits and boundaries need to be set.  As the relationship with self changes and improves in individual therapy, new ways of interacting and engaging in our primary relationships need to be explored in couples counseling.  Behaviors or interactions that once were tolerated in the relationship may no longer be acceptable.  Below are 3 ways to begin that process.

Identify your needs from a mate- I often hear in session in marriage counseling or premarital counseling sessions that she or he "should" know my needs or wants".  That is a cognitive distortion that needs to be challenged.  The only way a person knows what we want is by asking, hence as scripture states "we do not have if we do not ask" referring to God, I believe that statement applies to our interactions with others as well.  Think about your wants from your husband, wife or partner and take the time to put those desires in writing to discuss your expectations in couples therapy.  Sometimes wants need to be negotiated, however discussing allows us to avoid disappointments due to unmet expectations.  If in early recovery, you may have never given any thought to verbalizing your needs in a relationship.  This is a great opportunity to create the relationship you want through marriage or couples counseling.

Set rules of engagement- There will be basic rules of engagement that need to be set in couples therapy.  For example, no name calling, no cursing at each other, no character assignation, learning effective conflict resolution skills, no yelling, no hitting or other problematic patterns of interacting in the past.  Remember love always trusts and always respects.  We can't trust what we don't respect and we can't respect what we don't trust.  Tell your partner how you want to be treated.  Marriage therapy and premarital counseling is a great place to take the time to teach, lead and guide to express what respecting each other and boundaries means to you both as a couple.

Take a Daily Inventory- Taking a personal daily inventory at the end of each day is highly recommended in recovery as well as in marriage and couples counseling.  On a daily basis it helps to be aware of successes and shortcomings so if we are blessed with tomorrow we can try again, being more present, mindful and aware.  Truly living one day at a time, we can create a fulfilling, satisfying life in recovery as well as relationships.  I recommend in couples counseling as well as marriage counseling and premarital counseling that couples do this exercise as well.  It helps to identify and appreciate the positive changes as well as quickly identify any hurts or disappointments or old patterns that can turn into resentments if not addressed, worked through, forgiven and let go.


    Contact Information

  • Phone Number
  • Show Phone Number
  • Business/ Practice Name
  • Dr. Susan Pazak
  • Street Address
  • 30131 Town Center Drive
  • Suite, Apt, Other
  • Suite 280
  • City
  • Laguna Niguel
  • State
  • California
  • Zip Code
  • 92677
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    License Certification

  • What type of license/certification do you hold?
  • Licensed Psychologist
  • License Number
  • Psy17583
  • License State
  • CA
  • Education

  • Graduate School/University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Highest Degree Earned
  • Ph.D.
  • Graduation Year
  • 1999
  • Gender
  • Female
  • Therapy Settings
  • In Office Online

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